Claremont Senior Computer Club

"We just wouldn't be as legitimate, or as popular, if we were teaching our members with outdated versions of the Windows operating system or Office."

Tom Deno, founder

Claremont Senior Computer Club Makes Savvy Seniors the Norm

As a young electrical engineer in the 1960s, Tom Deno worked with some of the earliest computers. By the time he retired at age 64, he was a self-proclaimed technology geek. But he discovered that among his peers, his tech savvy was in the minority. His quest to share his knowledge inspired him to found the Claremont Senior Computer Club in Claremont, California, in March of 1994. "We are now the largest and most successful senior club in the city," he says with pride. 

Deno launched the senior computer club with a donated IBM XT and an ad in the local paper. Sixteen people showed up. When the club topped 60 members, it moved to a large room at the Claremont Community Center, where it still holds regular meetings in addition to offering guest lectures classes and workshops.

About 60 to 70 members meet weekly to discuss topics like cloud computing, self-publishing, and Internet genealogy. And volunteer techies from the club run a hands-on computer workshop to help members get the most out of their personal computers, including assisting with memory upgrades, software installation, and general troubleshooting.

A big part of that success comes from having affordable access to the most up-to-date versions of Microsoft Office and Windows operating systems. Software donations from Microsoft through TechSoup's donation program make this possible. "We are one of the oldest special-interest clubs in Claremont," says Deno, "and as we head into our 18th year, we're still going strong."